Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Future of Media #79: Television

This module on the future of media consists of three posts: television, movies, and the future of both. Completing all three posts is worth 2 training hours. The module is available through March 31, 2010.

When television was in it's infancy at the end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s, I don't think anyone could have imagined that people would be able to record shows, watch TV shows on demand, or even watch a show on the Internet.

Today, changes in the public's viewing habits and the increase in the number of channels and options has forced the television industry to look at other options to reach it's viewing public. One effect is the growing use of product placement in TV shows as viewers increasingly skip over commercials with their DVRs. Another effect is the increase in the number of episodes available on the web for people to watch.

Most of the major networks have some kind of online presence for viewers to find their favorite shows. Availability of episodes varies both by network, site, and show. The major options are:

  • Hulu.com - Offers recent episodes of popular shows such as Lost, 24, The Office, and Family Guy primarily from NBC and Fox. It also has "classic" shows such as The Facts of Life, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and What's Happening. The number of episodes varies by show and each does include commercials.
  • tv.com - A one stop shop for CBS shows, either airing on CBS or in some way produced by them. Popular shows include NCIS, CSI, South Park, and Survivor. Classic shows such as Bonanza are also available.
  • Joost - Has quite a bit of animation in addition to similar offerings to Hulu and tv.com.
  • viewmy.tv - Watch news from around the world.
  • CastTV - The site's goal is to index every video, and thus TV show, on the web.
  • Major Network websites - ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and The CW all offer at least some episodes of their current TV shows online. In addition to current shows, NBC also has a selection of classic shows as well as original online-only shows.
Going Mobile

With the advent of web based mobile phones, especially the iPhone, watching TV on the go is becoming easier and more popular. There are several free or low cost options for taking your favorite programs with you.
  • The major phone providers including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have some kind of Mobile TV option. Charges may apply.
  • The major networks all have mobile websites: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and The CW. Not all the sites are accessible over a regular internet browser as they are designed for use on smart phones.
  • For iPhone/iPod Touch users, some of the sites have available apps: tv.com (CBS), The CW, and ABC. There are also a number of mobile TV apps for the iPhone. Mashable has a list with reviews. Note that some apps have a small fee.
Be Your Own TV Star

Why let the networks or cable channels have all the fun? You can be the star of your own program online. There are a number of sites that let you post your own videos, or in the case of USTREAM and Justin.tv, post a live feed. For more on making videos, see the video module from October 2008.
  • USTREAM - This site host to the popular Shiba Inu Puppy Cam, lets users post streaming video. People can chat about your stream live.

    Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV
  • Justin.tv - Like USTREAM, users can post live feeds.
  • YouTube, Yahoo! Video, and Vimeo all have options for uploading videos to their sites and sharing your creativity with the world. Many users have "channels" that you can subscribe to, in effect creating their own online broadcast network.

Post your replies on your blog.
  1. Visit Hulu, tv.com, or one of the other TV sites. Search or browse the site to see if your favorite show is listed. Are you able to watch full episodes online? What coverage is available?
  2. Have you ever watched a TV show on your cell phone? If so, did you like it? If not, are you interested? Why or why not?
  3. Are there any streaming programs or user "channels" that you watch? Have you ever posted videos to a site on a regular basis?
This module brought to you by Linda Stevens (ADM), Grace Lillevig (ADM), Abigail Buchold (ADM), & Mark Haywood (ALD).
Images © 2010 JupiterImages

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like the viewmy.tv site thanks!
nice and simple to access free channels